European Digital Identity: a key tool to enable trust and security in the Digital Single Market
The Renew Europe Group welcomes today´s adoption by the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy of the European Digital Identity Framework, a crucial step forward to a truly Digital Single Market that will enable all European citizens, consumers and businesses to securely access public and private services across the EU with the use of a simple and user friendly App (Wallet), increasing data privacy and a higher level of consumer protection. Today, only about 60% of the EU population in 14 Member States are able to use their national eID cross-border, and only 14% of key public service providers across all Member States allow cross-border authentication with an e-Identity system.
During the negotiation process, Renew Europe advocated for the creation of a Wallet based on technological neutrality principles, with data protection, security, interoperability, wide availability and usability in central focus. The shadow rapporteur managed to strengthen the provisions aimed to enable full control of the users of the content of the Wallet and diversify the functionalities offered by the Wallet. Moreover, the use of the Wallets would be provided free of charge to both natural and legal persons and remain voluntary.
Renew Europe also secured more transparency on the web, allowing everyone who is surfing online to know who is behind a website and ensuring safe browsing, without disrupting the existing Internet governance model. For a smooth implementation and rollout of the Wallets across European countries, our group advocated for strengthening the cooperation between the Member States and introducing liability rules in cases of security breaches and non-compliant parties. In establishing penalties, we have taken into consideration the status of SMEs and start-ups.
Renew Europe MEP Alin Mituța (REPER, Romania), shadow rapporteur on the European Digital Identity, declared:
“The creation of the European Digital Identity Wallet is a key step to empower our citizens and our businesses to have an app in which they have full and exclusive control over their documents, identification means and other elements that are used in their everyday life. A Wallet would mean less time for our citizens spent in queues to access public services and speed up and diversify remote and more efficient services offered by public authorities and European companies. To achieve all of these successfully we focused on five principles: security, privacy, interoperability, usability and availability.”